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General Motors acceptance corp. agreed to acquire BNY Financial Corp., a commercial-finance unit of the Bank of New York, for $1.8 billion. The transaction will allow Detroit-based GMAC, the financing arm of General Motors, to strengthen its asset-backed lending business in the US and Britain - and to act as an accounts-receivable department for clients.

Investors reacted positively to the massive and peaceful turnout in Indonesia's national election, pushing the key stock-market index to its highest level in almost two years. Share prices on the Jakarta exchange rose 12.2 percent yesterday from last Friday's close to 686.95 - the highest since the nation's slide into recession began in August 1997. (Markets were not open on election day.) In currency trading, the battered rupiah also firmed up, rising from 8,100 against the US dollar to 7,600. The peaceful election also was credited for a 3.3 percent gain in neighboring Malaysia's stock index and a 2.1 rise in Singapore, the latter's highest close in more than two years.

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